A Deer Liver Dish from Cgm 384 II

An odd dish with an interesting twist:

7 Roe Deer Liver

A dish of a roe deer liver. Take the liver and boil it or fry it or roast it. Then chop it small or pound it small or pound it with rye bread in a good broth. And take wine and a little vinegar in it and bacon, as is described before. Boil it and serve it in bowls and set a baked/fried crust of egg dough (ain gebachen ayer plat) on top of it.

Cooked, mashed meat served as a kind of mousse is not that uncommon in the German medieval tradition. Presumably, the desired consistency and spiciness set apart this dish from a liver sauce, the same way a modern cook would be able to make a distinction between a tomato soup and a pasta sauce without having it desrcibed. What I find particularly interesting here is the gebachen ayer plat that goes on top of the dishes. Backen could refer to either baking or frying in Middle German (we still speak of Schmalzgebäck when we mean fritters), so it is not clear how this sheet is produced. Are we talking about a pancake covering the bowl to keep in the heat and accompany the meaty mush? Is it baked under a pastry lid, like a sea pie? Or does it have flat fritters stuck in it like nacho chips? I am not sure, but it is a fascinating avenue for speculation.

Bound together with medicinal, veterinary, and magical texts, the culinary recipes of Munich Cgm 384 were partly published in 1865 as “Ein alemannisches Büchlein von guter Speise“. The manuscript dates to the second half of the fifteenth century. My translation follows the edition by Trude Ehlert in Münchner Kochbuchhandschriften aus dem 15. Jahrhundert, Tupperware Deutschland, Frankfurt 1999, which includes the first section of recipes not published earlier.

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